151 years ago today, Egypt’s Suez Canal was launched

On November 17, 1869, the Suez Canal was opened to global navigation, a day after the legendary opening was attended by a number of the most important personalities in the world, led by Empress Eugenie, the Empress of France, who boarded the "Eagle"; the first yacht crossing the canal, accompanied by the “Mahrousa” yacht of Khedive Ismail.


Eugenie had arrived in Alexandria on October 16, 1869, on the yacht "Eagle", which sailed from Constantinople.

Khedive Ismail, his court, and the princes received her with warm hospitality, firing cannons, and playing music.


The Celebration

 She took a train from Alexandria to Cairo, then started her journey to Upper Egypt and was most impressed with the ancient Egyptian antiquities.

 When the convention of the invitees was completed on November 16, the Egyptians, including soldiers and people, spread out on the banks of the canal with their tents and tools to watch this great festival.

"The Eagle" Yacht

At 2 p.m. on that same day, Empress Eugenie presided over the religious party and all the invitees attended while the music was blowing and the cannons were ringing, marking the beginning of the party.

 The Suez Canal remained outside Egyptian control until it was nationalized by Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1956. This decision caused the outbreak of the tripartite aggression against Egypt by France, Britain, and Israel.